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Past Exhibition

Shields, on the River Tyne

print displaying night scene of boats docked in harbor under full moon

Charles Turner (1774–1857), after Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
Shields, on the River Tyne, 1823
For The Rivers of England
Mezzotint (engraver’s proof)
Sheet: 12 3/4 x 17 1/4 in. (32.4 x 43.8 cm)
Plate: 7 5/8 x 10 1/4 in. (19.4 x 26 cm)
Image: 6 x 8 5/8 in. (15.2 x 21.9 cm)
Yale Center for British Art; Paul Mellon Collection

See related watercolor

Turner depicts the backbreaking work of laborers shoveling coal from small boats onto a cargo ship in this nocturnal scene set in northeast England. The splendor of the full moon serves as a spotlight enabling round-the-clock labor. In the watercolor, the glow of the furnace at right competes with the moon’s cool brilliance in a scene of almost surreal beauty. In the print, some of the indistinct qualities in Turner’s watercolor take on more defined form.